Once upon a time….
There was a small mill village just down the way. The houses were built around a small pond and up the hillside. Two main roads passed by with several smaller access roads went through the village. Across one of those roads and near the river was a very old textile manufacturing plant. Across from the plant was an empty, aging mansion in which I don’t recall anyone ever living. Yet, it was said to be haunted.
At one point the wood frame houses that had stood for decades began showing their age. Even as the renters and company attempted upkeep, old wiring began to cause fires. One by one the houses became empty. One by one, they were used for training exercises for local fire departments. Yet, the mansion stood, proud, empty and silent on the side of the hill.
The mansion and a convenience store that had been at the point where the two main roads met, its not so large parking area almost always full. They managed somehow to always have the best fruit and vegetables. What didn’t sell, was fed to the huge flock of ducks and geese that lived behind the store and loved the pond. One had to be careful driving through as they owned the roadway.
Soon, even the much outdated manufacturing plant was shuttered and bulldozed into only a memory. The access roads that had passed through the houses were blocked to prevent anyone from dumping their trash or other possible illegal activities. All the while, the mansion stood. Promises were made that it would remain. It was a part of history.
Stories were told about the place. Lights could be seen in the windows. If anyone dared go in, it might happen that a rose would be seen floating in the air. Maybe a lady in a long, flowing dress. Some have reported to have seen something unexplained run in front of their cars in early morning hours. Many were fascinated with the old house on a hill.
For a couple of years, a local fire department used it for a haunted house. It was a popular destination. Then, suddenly, that was stopped. It was claimed to be unsafe. It was also claimed that one of the people making the house ready, saw something that was not spoken of.
Then one day, the store was closed. The stand for the vegetables dismantled, the gas pumps and tanks removed. The operator’s leash wasn’t renewed. The store, the long loved and appreciated store, was a part of history. After many months, that too was cleared down to the ground.
Then, promises were broken. As I passed through one afternoon on my way home from work, I saw the heavy machinery. I saw the work had begun. They were tearing down the haunted mansion. Now, the hill is empty. The land were the mill houses once were, is overgrown.Nature took back what was hers.
For years they have said that upscale housing was going there. I’m not sure what has stopped them, but I’m not complaining. Let it be as it is, turn it into a park, build the houses elsewhere. The roads aren’t designed for a large housing development. Besides, I doubt the spirits that still wander there, wouldn’t appreciate the company.
So, do I believe in ghosts? I believe in spirits and I believe in angels.
I believe that behind a veil that we cannot see, a war is going on all around us. Good against evil. Good fighting to protect and guide, evil trying to destroy. None of our deceased loved ones are angels. When we die, we do not become angels. Those who have accepted and are Followers of Christ, are adopted into the family of God and are therefore heirs. Angels on the other hand are created beings.
Angels are messengers and yes guardians. Satan and his demons seek only to do harm, to trick and manipulate. They recognize what is weak in us and use it against us. Yet, it is our free will that allows us to choose our path.
Do I believe heaven and hell are real places? Yes I do. Do I believe that people who choose not to follow Christ will go to hell? Yes I do- but it isn’t God who condemns them there, it is by their own choice.
Why do I believe in hell?
Because of a child’s prayer. Mine. I was around twelve or so, I had attended revival at church. Part of the message that night had dealt with hell and hell’s torment. I don’t recall the exact words that lead me to later do this, but that night, as I knelt before my bed and prayed, I prayed to understand and hear hell. For what seemed like forever but was in fact a brief few seconds in time, I heard screaming such that no horror movie could ever create. The pain and agony in those screams weren’t only heard but felt. Then, it was silent again in my house and mind. Still to this day, all these decades later, I remember those screams.
Hell is real, and it won’t be some big party for the nonbelievers.
Angels and demons are real in them, I believe.